Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Sensory Technology

December 22, 2012

Despite having only taken one introductory course on the subject, psychology has always facinated me.  Once I began to see applications of psychology, to the extent that I understood it, in my dayjob (which is heavily technologically oriented) I figured I liked how the two got along – starting from the little “psychological” support I need to provide to each enraged costumer after they’ve experienced a system failure, to the more complex processes of developing efficient workflows and trying to generate support from peers for a project.

Crowdsourcing is currently of great interest to me because of it’s implications on human psychology and some of the applications I can envision to psychological research. But it is far from the only connection I see between technology and psychology. Recently, another field that seems to be developing fast has been catching my attention – sensors, of all shapes and sizes, connected to all kinds of devices

While I woudn’t have recognized myself the connection between sensors and psychology just a year ago, it is definitly a topic researched under it’s veil, and can shed light on possible applications and developments in the field. Psychological research in the field of senses involves, amoung other things, measuring their capabilities and limits in various terms, from the ranges of senses we can recognize, the speed the signal is acknowledged in our brains, the amount of simultanious stimuly, etc’. This is very similar to how crowdsourcing applications involve finding processes that humans can do easily as opposed to computers.

If I had to name this field of work as a whole, I would call it “the search for new technological applications by studying our own capabilities and limits”. I’ve discussed many crowdsourcing projects that fit this bill, but here are some applications of sensors I found simply fascinating:

  • Medical sensors that can gather physical data allowing for live patient examinations without physically visiting a doctor. The ideas in this field are so advanced, that rather than be addressed as a batch of single sensors, they’re named a “body area network”. In this case, we monitor things are body couldn’t and connect it to our current technology. 
  • Prosthetic arms with sensors attached to nerves around the area that was severed, and thus allow their wearers to “feel” with them once again. The TED talk describes in great detail how patients’ nevous systems and their responses were studied in detail in order to allow for this research to advance.
  • Ninja Cloud – a small block connected to sensors that can react to them on your various social networks, allowing us to connect sensory data directly to the web, with limitless posibilities.
  • Robots with an attached Kinect-like camera and motion sensors that can continiously map their environment to allow for autonomous navigation, in a way that might serve as an aid to blind people. Navigation was the subject study here, with the breakthrough coming from the understanding of old technological limits and perhaps some insights from our own capabilities in the field.
  • High-speed photography made posible by two sensory achievements – capturing an image from a burst of light, and timing that burst of light, in many cases, to correspond with a sensory trigger.

All these applications are ingenious – they try and push the limit to what both machines and humans can do.

Do you also seen these advances? Any of these projects spike some interest? Let me know! 🙂

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/18340197654 at February 27, 2012 at 12:06AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

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Groundbreaking Technology and Services – Based on Gaming Innovations

December 22, 2012

Groundbreaking Technology and Services – Based on Gaming Innovations:

Before I even begin, you HAVE to see this video, if you haven’t allready (more here). 

Allow me to ignore the obvious fact that this is an awesome feat technologically speaking – I see no discussion there. What I love about what Johnny Chung Lee did there, and in the other link I added,  is that he took gaming technology and demonstrated how it could be made into new technology – some of which can even be applied outside of gaming. 

I think this is a prime example of a general trend in the past years – with games becoming more popular and widespread, their technology is becoming comparable, and even more advanced, than day-to-day technology in terms of ingeniouity, interface, and productivity.

The webpage I linked is an example of that in one of the most active technological frontiers these days – cloud computing. What you see is an amazing product in itself – a cloud service that can provide you, as long as you have the addequate connectivity requirement, a fully functional windows environment with cloud storage from ANY device (Macs, iPads, Android devices…). As a person whose main reason to buy a laptop rather than an iPad was the iPad’s lack of Microsoft office and proper multitasking, this can allow me to enjoy the best of both worlds. And by processing all the data on the cloud, it shouldn’t be too heavy on my mobile device.

But here’s the punch – this solution was not originally designed for work (or at the very least, it’s not the company’s direct pitch). Notice that the link is not to the company’s website (www.onlive.com) but rather to its desktop product. Go to http://www.onlive.com and you’ll discover a cloud-based gaming platform – same pitch, only now the processing power is much more important. This could allow you, assuming the proper gesture translation is applied, to play any PC game on your iPad’s processor (which still can’t compare to a PC of Mac)!

With developments in gaming influencing technology so directly, innovation is bound to soar in the upcoming years – originality is the very idea behind great games.

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/15970291114 at January 17, 2012 at 12:14AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Turning the Sour Sweet

December 22, 2012

Turning the Sour Sweet:

Sorry in advanced – the link’s written in Hebrew. Since most of you won’t be able to read it without Google Translate, and machine translation isn’t exactly something I’d put my trust in, here’s the general idea: technological advances in our homes should, in the foreseeable future, make more “working dads”. This will happen by enhancing day-to-day technology, like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and micros, to make daily chores more engaging. The article suggests integrating gamification, social network integration and general web connectivity to achieve this goal.

To sum up his idea in one phrase – the idea is that in the upcoming years, annoying tasks are going to become more fun.

This is a concept I love and try to share as much as possible. Try to look at a task, a service, a requirement one way and re-purpose it in a way that gives it additional value. Making a game out of cleaning clothes, or streamlining  shopping and cooking with other tasks will make them easier to do and allow us to enjoy more parts of our lives, if applied correctly.

This is just another demonstration of the impact technology can have on our lies. I hope that the writer’s hopes will indeed come true – that future technology will strive to make all of our lives better by both making direct progress and improving what’s already here.  

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/15844043041 at January 14, 2012 at 10:51PM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Sensory Technology

February 27, 2012

Despite having only taken one introductory course on the subject, psychology has always facinated me.  Once I began to see applications of psychology, to the extent that I understood it, in my dayjob (which is heavily technologically oriented) I figured I liked how the two got along – starting from the little “psychological” support I need to provide to each enraged costumer after they’ve experienced a system failure, to the more complex processes of developing efficient workflows and trying to generate support from peers for a project.

Crowdsourcing is currently of great interest to me because of it’s implications on human psychology and some of the applications I can envision to psychological research. But it is far from the only connection I see between technology and psychology. Recently, another field that seems to be developing fast has been catching my attention – sensors, of all shapes and sizes, connected to all kinds of devices

While I woudn’t have recognized myself the connection between sensors and psychology just a year ago, it is definitly a topic researched under it’s veil, and can shed light on possible applications and developments in the field. Psychological research in the field of senses involves, amoung other things, measuring their capabilities and limits in various terms, from the ranges of senses we can recognize, the speed the signal is acknowledged in our brains, the amount of simultanious stimuly, etc’. This is very similar to how crowdsourcing applications involve finding processes that humans can do easily as opposed to computers.

If I had to name this field of work as a whole, I would call it “the search for new technological applications by studying our own capabilities and limits”. I’ve discussed many crowdsourcing projects that fit this bill, but here are some applications of sensors I found simply fascinating:

  • Medical sensors that can gather physical data allowing for live patient examinations without physically visiting a doctor. The ideas in this field are so advanced, that rather than be addressed as a batch of single sensors, they’re named a “body area network”. In this case, we monitor things are body couldn’t and connect it to our current technology. 
  • Prosthetic arms with sensors attached to nerves around the area that was severed, and thus allow their wearers to “feel” with them once again. The TED talk describes in great detail how patients’ nevous systems and their responses were studied in detail in order to allow for this research to advance.
  • Ninja Cloud – a small block connected to sensors that can react to them on your various social networks, allowing us to connect sensory data directly to the web, with limitless posibilities.
  • Robots with an attached Kinect-like camera and motion sensors that can continiously map their environment to allow for autonomous navigation, in a way that might serve as an aid to blind people. Navigation was the subject study here, with the breakthrough coming from the understanding of old technological limits and perhaps some insights from our own capabilities in the field.
  • High-speed photography made posible by two sensory achievements – capturing an image from a burst of light, and timing that burst of light, in many cases, to correspond with a sensory trigger.

All these applications are ingenious – they try and push the limit to what both machines and humans can do.

Do you also seen these advances? Any of these projects spike some interest? Let me know! 🙂

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/18340197654 at February 27, 2012 at 12:06AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Groundbreaking Technology and Services – Based on Gaming Innovations

January 17, 2012

Groundbreaking Technology and Services – Based on Gaming Innovations:

Before I even begin, you HAVE to see this video, if you haven’t allready (more here).

Allow me to ignore the obvious fact that this is an awesome feat technologically speaking – I see no discussion there. What I love about what Johnny Chung Lee did there, and in the other link I added,  is that he took gaming technology and demonstrated how it could be made into new technology – some of which can even be applied outside of gaming.

I think this is a prime example of a general trend in the past years – with games becoming more popular and widespread, their technology is becoming comparable, and even more advanced, than day-to-day technology in terms of ingeniouity, interface, and productivity.

The webpage I linked is an example of that in one of the most active technological frontiers these days – cloud computing. What you see is an amazing product in itself – a cloud service that can provide you, as long as you have the addequate connectivity requirement, a fully functional windows environment with cloud storage from ANY device (Macs, iPads, Android devices…). As a person whose main reason to buy a laptop rather than an iPad was the iPad’s lack of Microsoft office and proper multitasking, this can allow me to enjoy the best of both worlds. And by processing all the data on the cloud, it shouldn’t be too heavy on my mobile device.

But here’s the punch – this solution was not originally designed for work (or at the very least, it’s not the company’s direct pitch). Notice that the link is not to the company’s website (www.onlive.com) but rather to its desktop product. Go to http://www.onlive.com and you’ll discover a cloud-based gaming platform – same pitch, only now the processing power is much more important. This could allow you, assuming the proper gesture translation is applied, to play any PC game on your iPad’s processor (which still can’t compare to a PC of Mac)!

With developments in gaming influencing technology so directly, innovation is bound to soar in the upcoming years – originality is the very idea behind great games.

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/15970291114 at January 17, 2012 at 12:14AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Turning the Sour Sweet

January 14, 2012

Turning the Sour Sweet:

Sorry in advanced – the link’s written in Hebrew. Since most of you won’t be able to read it without Google Translate, and machine translation isn’t exactly something I’d put my trust in, here’s the general idea: technological advances in our homes should, in the foreseeable future, make more “working dads”. This will happen by enhancing day-to-day technology, like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and micros, to make daily chores more engaging. The article suggests integrating gamification, social network integration and general web connectivity to achieve this goal.

To sum up his idea in one phrase – the idea is that in the upcoming years, annoying tasks are going to become more fun.

This is a concept I love and try to share as much as possible. Try to look at a task, a service, a requirement one way and re-purpose it in a way that gives it additional value. Making a game out of cleaning clothes, or streamlining  shopping and cooking with other tasks will make them easier to do and allow us to enjoy more parts of our lives, if applied correctly.

This is just another demonstration of the impact technology can have on our lies. I hope that the writer’s hopes will indeed come true – that future technology will strive to make all of our lives better by both making direct progress and improving what’s already here.

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/15844043041 at January 14, 2012 at 10:51PM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

On Technological Dependence in the Digital Age, and how to Limit the Power of Technology

January 7, 2012

On Technological Dependence in the Digital Age, and how to Limit the Power of Technology:

More and more people, of varying levels of technical prowess, are increasingly relying on technology to go through their day: doing research, reading news, publishing, communicating, networking, playing games, using the web, cell phones, social networks, web stores, email services…

The growing use of these services, however, raises many concerns – with most criticism relating to the lack of traditional interactions with people and our environment. The article above describes Nick Biton’s coming to terms with this fact, and notes that his proposed solution is to “spend at least 30 minutes a day without [his] iPhone”. I personally think this is too extreme, and simply impractical.

Don’t think I’m naive – it is clear today that many people find it hard to part with their technology. World of Warcraft as given  a multitude of examples of varying levels of addiction to gaming, for instance; Everyone these days knows at least one friend who can’t survive one day without logging in to facebook, to the extent of experiencing a sort of “withdrawal” when not being able to do so. In work, we hardly talk to each other face to face, with emails, phones, and VC systems making things simple, if a little less intimate.

As a very technology oriented guy, I enjoy these trends to a great extent – I love using facebook (I’m planning to write a significant post on social networks eventually), I read a lot of interesting material on the web, I greatly rely on facetime to speak to my mother and little brother who live abroad, and I don’t keep any physical document from my courses or day-to-day buisness, preferring to scan it. At work, I am in charge of finding technological solutions to any need in my office, serving in fact the force of change from the traditional to the new and “adictive” work methods.

Despite these facts, I still go out on an almost daily basis, meet people face-to-face both in my social life as well as my professional life (I never sit still for long during work hours, and have been known to come even to the call centers I work with). I don’t need that half an hour a day – I get far more, and have, on several occasions, spent several days “disconnected” without any dire consequences to my psyche. I don’t think I am special in a way that allows me to “disconnect” – my work is very intensive, many of my friends are abroad, I enjoy technology – I should be just as reliant on technology as Nick Bilton – I have actually grown into the digital age.

So what is my proposed alternative to the daily half-an-hour, or any solution that expects full avoidance?

In my opinion, the solution is to be aware of the role each technology plays in your life. As an example, I will go through my personal take on different methods of interpersonal communication.

There are many ways to communicate with other people – emails, social networks, phone calls and text messages. When first learning to use these technologies, I chose, rather than see them as equal alternatives to direct communication, to assign each a role in my life, that is partial to the big world of interpersonal relations.

  • In my personal life, Emails serve as good conversation starters, especially with people I’ve lost touch with. They never serve as a sustainable method of communications, and should lead to another method as quickly as possible (sharing phone numbers, meeting). At work, I use emails to help assign and coordinate tasks, but never to manage them.
  • I use Social networks for widespread updates – for instance, I see facebook as an ideal platform to announce to all my friends bad news, saving me the need to call each person and repeat the news by phone, a very depressing ordeal. I also use them to share digital information with my friends, and coordinate personal meetings with several friends (parties, events). I use forsquare for checkins. I use lastfm to share my music taste. My other networks serve as my professional voice, and personal resumes, not as communication tools.
  • Privately I use phone calls for simple coordination (let’s meet up). I will have longer personal conversations by phone with people I haven’t seen for a while, but always with the main goal being to meet face to face. Professional phone calls are a way for me to manage a task from a distance (based on email communications written beforehand), between when I am able to survey them personally.
  • At work and personally, I use text messages, for short updates and simple coordination – never for something important, whose delivery is crucial.

Most importantly, I never value any of those methods as much as direct conversations, and they can therefore never stack up to them over time. As long as I use them for their assigned tasks, they have merit and are useful to me. No one could work without mail and cell phones these day. However, from experience, using technologies beyond their tasks can lead me to lose track of what I want, or more importantly, lead to the message being lost or misunderstood

I apply the same rules to any technology I introduce into my life – I assimilate it into different niches in my life, but never allow it to replace regular human experiences. While this may limit my immersion into the content of the web, for instance, or forces me to take the time and walk between offices, it also keeps me from being dependent on the technology and allows me to stay on top of my life, even when the technology is unavailable, or irrelevant. It’s what makes me the master of the technology around me.

What can be done to avoid the tech dependence, or in extreme cases addiction? In my personal opinion, the solution lies in educating our kids and ourselves to recognize the boundaries of each technology, and how to use them best within these boundaries. This isn’t an easy task, as more services lack clear definition and can be used for several tasks – the iPad for instance, can be an e-reader, music device, work computers or music studio, Facebook is a social network, but also a platform for publicity, link sharing site, and for some a place to find new music – all depending on the user. It’s might be great from a technological standpoint, but the lack of focus is exactly the reason people get lost in it. Technologies such as the iPhone and iPad can have so many applications and uses that users that don’t give them a specific purpose can get lost in them – centering their lives around the technology rather than using it to help and enhance their lives, as it should! Older technologies did not have this effect – books and TV’s are passive devices, unlike computers, and have regulated content. Regular mail isn’t as quick as email, and doesn’t allow you to subscribe to as many sources of information. Telephone calls to land-lines don’t have the same availability as cell phones, and don’t have as many services as modern cell phones do. Technology in the past 15 years has expanded the use of various devices to degrees unimaginable before!

Awareness of this fact will help you to keep technological advances in your life in check, allowing you to enjoy life outside of their immersing world.

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/15435847113 at January 07, 2012 at 06:39AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com


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